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News | Nov. 3, 2016

Safety Gram: The Hazards of Lithium Batteries

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va., Nov. 3, 2016 — Defense Contract Management Agency’s Safety and Occupational Health Division wants agency team members to be aware of the hazards of lithium batteries.

According to Raymond Corral, the agency’s SOH Eastern and Pacific region manager, incidents of malfunctioning lithium batteries have become more commonplace recently. Most of the incidents have involved fires and occurred while individuals were charging their electronic devices, but some have caught fire when in use.

“The latest concerns have been with regards to e-cigarettes, hover boards and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7,” said Corral. “The (Federal Aviation Administration) is highly concerned about the safety of lithium batteries.”

To find more about the possible dangers of lithium battery use and storage, click here (login required). To discover more SOH Safety Grams, click here (login required).

A few lithium battery precautions:
—Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging devices.
—Use only charging equipment approved and provided by the manufacturer for devices. Cheap charging equipment may be purchased virtually everywhere, but it may not always meet required safety standards.
—Avoid carrying loose or exposed batteries in pockets, bags or purses. If something metal shorts a battery’s contacts, it may cause a discharge, overheat and, in some cases, explode. Several incidents have been reported of clothing catching fire resulting in second and third degree burns from e-cigarettes.
—Turn off electronics while sleeping.